I’ve been wanting to make chicken pot pie for like, ever. It sounded like the best kind of comfort food; home made but still a pie, full of veggies and chicken, and obviously the real star attraction – crispy puff pastry! I’d been searching for ramekins of a decent size and modest price for a while, but they were either too small, too expensive, or not cute enough. I feel like I’ve scoured every chain store, kitchen ware outlet and op shop for miles around over the last 12 months! And then the cooler weather drove a desire for something scrummy in my tummy, the heavens smiled, and suddenly – my local supermarket had some sweet little oval shaped bake-ware dishes in pastel colours, for $3 each! It was a sign that I was finally to make Chicken Pot Pie!
- 500g of chicken thighs, cut into smaller pieces. I actually used a left over roasted, shredded chicken breast and that worked really well.
- 1 large white onion, diced into 1cm pieces
- 2 large spring onions, finely chopped.
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced into 1 cm pieces
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled if you must and diced into 1 cm pieces
- 1 tin of corn kernels, drained.
- 1 cup of peas
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
- salt and pepper
- a pinch of paprika
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- 4 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed.
- milk for glazing
- If your chicken is not cooked, cut it into small pieces, season with salt and pepper and saute in a frypan with some olive oil until cooked through. Set aside in the fridge until you are ready for it.
- Place potatoes and carrots in a large pot, add water to bring up the level to about 3 cm. Cook with the lid on until the vegetables are tender but have not lost their shape, check often to make sure the water hasn’t steamed away and the vegetables are burning. When done, remove to a bowl and discard the water.
- Using the same pan, saute the onions and spring onions in the olive oil until soft but not browned. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the flour and stir over medium heat for a few minutes – the flour needs to cook properly but not burn.
- Gradually stir in the milk, stir constantly until the sauce has thickened, then add the stock. Stir in the chicken and remaining vegetables, adding more liquid if needed to make a smooth sauce. Season with paprika, salt and pepper. Cover while you work with the pastry.
- Unwrap the puff pastry and lay flat on your bench. Turn your ramekins upside down and trace generously around each one to make a lid – you want it to be a little bigger. Turn the ramekins up the right way and rub some butter along the top edge to stop the pastry sticking too badly.
- Divide the filling among the ramekins. Looking good!
- Cut the puff pastry scraps into long thin pieces, about 2 cm wide. Use these to make a ‘collar’ around the top edge of the ramekin. They don’t have to be pretty because no one will see them, but they are important because they enable the steam from the filling to push the pastry lid up, and this will result in maximum flaky pastry enjoyment. Don’t skip the collar!
- Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the collars with milk, then carefully put the lids down, pressing firmly onto the collars. Brush the tops of the lids with milk, and then using a sharp knife, cut an X (or whatever you like) into the top, to stop the filling bubbling out too much. If you want to get creative cut shapes out of any remaining pastry scraps and decorate the lid. I tried to make chicken faces but was told they look like fish, so maybe use a small cookie cutter? If you want to glaze the pies with egg for a richer brown result, go ahead.
- Bake in a hot oven about 20 minutes until the lids are a thing of beauty. The filling is already cooked, so having the pastry perfect is the most important thing now.
- Take a moment to admire your work of art. Ta-da! It’s Chicken Pot Pie!
This recipe makes 4 individual serves, and the ramekins hold about 1 and a half cups of filling each.
I served this with chips to keep the children happy – I suspected the little one wouldn’t take to kindly to the filling and I wasn’t wrong, but he did happily scarf down the pastry lid, some chips and a small bowl of salad, so there you go. Be careful you don’t burn yourself on the steam when you lift the lid off!